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Economic Commentary

The Recent Rise in the Value of Education: Market Forces at Work

In the past decade, higher levels of schooling have become more financially rewarding. Adjusted for inflation, the earnings of college-educated workers rose during the 1980s, while they declined for employees with a high-school diploma or less. This development stands in marked contrast to the 1970s, when college-educated workers actually lost ground relative to those with only a high school degree.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Groshen, Erica, and Colin Drozdowski. 1992. “The Recent Rise in the Value of Education: Market Forces at Work.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 8/15/1992.